This Saturday, June 6th will mark the 71st anniversary of D-Day. Known as “the beginning of the end of war in Europe,” D-Day occurred when American, British and Canadian forces landed on 5 beaches stretching along 50 miles of France’s Normandy region. Troops landed under heavy fire on mined and obstacle covered beaches. The result of this day was the allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. As a major event in history it is important to keep the memory of this day alive.
As many have heard the story of D-Day, we’ve compiled some interesting facts about the event:
- The allies employed various military deception techniques in order to mislead the Germans on the date and location of the landings.
- The attack was originally supposed to take place on June 5th. Due to bad weather it was postponed to June 6th which was supposed to bring better weather. However, in reality the weather was just as bad.
- In order to further fool the Germans there was a dummy invasion force staged across from the Pas de Calais, and fake paratroopers were dropped to the east and west of the Normandy landing.
- A CBS reporter broadcasted the invasion live from a ship within the invading force.
- D-Day is known as the largest seaborne invasion in history with about 5,000 landing and assault crafts, 289 escort vessels and 277 minesweepers.
- This attack consisted of more than 150,000 personnel over air and sea with about 100,000 troops being involved.
- The naming of D-Day is often debated. There are two main theories as to how the name came about; the first being that the D in D-Day stands for “Departed,” as in Departed Date. The second theory is that following WWI tradition the generic assignment of D-Day was used to name events which have unassigned dates.
D-Day represents the day when the tides began to turn against the Nazis. It marked a significant blow to Hitler’s military strategy and paved the way for the Allies’ entry into Germany. With such a significant impact on history it is important to remember the courage, and strength that was demonstrated by the brave men who fought in this battle.